The DART 2030 Transit System Plan (TSP), approved in October 2006, identified the Cotton Belt Corridor (now referred to as the Silver Line Regional Rail Project) as a priority project. In 2016, DART advanced implementation of the project to the year 2022 in its FY2017 Twenty-Year Financial Plan.
The 26-mile Silver Line extends between DFW Airport and Shiloh Road in Plano (see map below). The alignment traverses seven cities: Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano. The Silver Line Project's primary purpose is to provide passenger rail connections and service that will improve mobility, accessibility and system linkages to major employment, population and activity centers in the northern part of the DART Service Area.
The Silver Line Project would interface with three DART LRT lines: The Red/Orange Lines in Richardson/Plano, the Green Line in Carrollton and the Orange Line at DFW Airport. In addition, at DFW Airport, the project would connect to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority TEXRail Regional Rail Line to Fort Worth and provide access to the DFW Airport Skylink People Mover.
On August 28, 2018, the DART Board approved a Service Plan Amendment which defined the Project alignment, grade separations, and station locations. Also on August 28, 2018, the DART Board also approved an residential betterments program along the Corridor.
On June 18, 2019, the DART Board approved a resolution to name future service as the Silver Line. Customers will see the Silver Line in operation after completion with 30-minute peak and 60-minute off-peak service.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)/ Record of Decision (ROD) for the Silver Line in November 2018. Since then, FTA and DART have met regularly (both monthly and quarterly) to review the Silver Line's progress and any potential change in design or mitigation measure. Any proposed change to the Silver Line Regional Rail Project is addressed by DART and the FTA in accordance with 23 CFR §771.129 and 23 CFR §771.130, which provide guidance on re-evaluations and supplemental documents. Changes must be documented appropriately and must be reviewed and approved by FTA. The format of the re-evaluation is at the Regional Administrator's discretion but must be commensurate with the project change and associated environmental impact. For the Silver Line Project, DART is preparing Memoranda to File to address project changes. These Memoranda to File are comprehensive reviews of the project changes with appropriate detail and coordination. Some include additional analysis which may result in new or modified mitigations that may be required to support a conclusion that there are no new significant impacts. FTA and DART meet at least monthly to review project progress and potential design and/or mitigation changes to ensure they are appropriately addressed.
Memoranda are submitted to FTA when there is sufficient detail and analysis for FTA to make a determination on the project change. Most project changes are the result of continued design progression and city or stakeholder coordination, and it is anticipated that project changes would not result in any substantial impact to the quality of the human environment, and the previously approved FEIS/ROD of November 9, 2018, would remain valid.
Pending Memoranda to File: Additional Memoranda to File will be posted as available.
Prior to FTA's final determination, the public is invited to comment at [email protected] (Enter Memo to File as Subject). Comments should only address the project change and potential impacts.
Silver Line Vehicles Are Coming In 2023 - Watch the video below for more details on Silver Line.
The DART Silver Line vehicles are nearing completion in Salt Lake City, Utah. Starting in February 2023, these state-of-the-art vehicles will make their way home to North Texas. People across the DART service area need and deserve dependable, reliable transportation. When the DART Silver Line Regional Rail opens, it will take them to the places they want to be. Commuters will take the rail to work at the 210,000 jobs within a ½ mile of the corridor, families will go on adventures to more activities, festivals, concerts, fairs, and sporting events, and students to schools known for academic rigor, career focus, and social opportunities. It's more than a ride, the Silver Line Regional Rail will transform lives and help the people in our community reach their full potential.
The DART Silver Line will feature a fleet of state-of-the-art vehicles manufactured by Stadler Inc. The vehicles are compliant with FRA requirements since the passenger rail will share much of the corridor with freight operations (no freight will ever traverse the North Dallas section of the corridor). Unlike DART’s light rail vehicles, overhead catenary cannot be used as it is incompatible with freight clearances. The diesel engines will be compliant with EPA Tier 4 ultra-low emission standards.
The Silver Line is fitted with DART’s signature colors and sleek design. DART and Stadler have equipped the vehicles with closed-cell, noise absorbing polyethylene foam in the bogie (truck) areas of the vehicle. This material is limited to the bogie (truck) areas, since there are no other noise sources below the vehicle. This material has been in use on Stadler FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) vehicles for the “S-Bahn Stuttgart” (Stuttgart’s commuter rail system) for over 5 years with no reported issues. DART has also added wheel skirts, HVAC enclosures (bafflers) and variable speed cooling fans to the vehicle to also dampen the noise
The Silver Line will be a nice, comfortable ride for passengers. Each vehicle is equipped with 230 seats which includes fixed seats, flip-up seats, and multi-directional seats. At full capacity, a vehicle can accommodate up to 485 passengers.
Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV) will be used to monitor every Silver Line vehicle. These on-board internal and external camera systems feature recording capabilities that can be remotely monitored by DART Police from a manned central monitoring station and other remote locations. In addition, there will be daily inspection, tests and maintenance plus regularly scheduled preventative maintenance to identify and correct problems before they occur. Please note that there will be no cameras in the parking lots of the stations. Cameras will only be on the vehicles, platforms, and stations.
The Silver Line vehicles are electric diesel multiple units (DMU) equipped with the strictest EPA Tier 4 compliant diesel engines to help reduce the emissions of particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen. One single DMU vehicle is comprised of 2 cab cars, 2 coach cars, and 1 engine module (power pack). DMUs have many benefits, including being self-contained, self-propelled (meaning use of a locomotive is not required) and having lower maintenance costs compared to other types of trains. The DMU can be operated from both ends of the vehicle. Except during a towing of a disabled vehicle, only one vehicle will operate at a time for revenue service.
DART has a total of eight Silver Line vehicles. There will be five cars in operation and three as spares. The three vehicles will be in the maintenance cycle and rotated out so the other vehicles can be maintained on a regular basis. All Silver Line vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected prior to use every day. This means they are cleaned and disinfected each night at the end of service. Each seat is completely wiped down with a cleaning/disinfecting solution. Currently DART provides a “misted” cleaning of the entire interior which has been performed since the COVID pandemic and was also enforced during the Ebola epidemic a few years ago. Each vehicle will also have a monthly “deep cleaning” which includes the dropping of ceiling inserts, electrical cabinets etc. The cleaning program requirements are laid out in the contract between DART and Stadler and will be adhered to as well.
DART anticipates weekday service for the Silver Line to be from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. However, it’s possible that service hours could be as early as 5:00 a.m. or as late as 11:00 p.m. The Silver Line will run every 60 minutes, and during peak hours, such as weekday commute times, it will run every 30 minutes. Final hours of operation and vehicle frequency will be outlined in the service plan.
Construction is underway for the DART Silver Line Regional Rail. Archer Western Herzog (AWH), the design-build contractor for the DART Silver Line Regional Rail Project, has field construction activities throughout the Silver Line corridor. As specific activities are scheduled, additional notifications will be issued to the communities affected.
Silver Line Weekly Construction Schedules
January 5 through May 3, 2023
Meandering Way will be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction between McCallum Boulevard and Rocky Top Circle beginning on January 5, 2023 for the construction of the new double grade crossing. Access to the alleyway on the northwest and to the Willow Greene Condos will remain open throughout the construction period.
December 5 2022 to late March 2023
Beginning Monday, Dec. 5, Quorum Drive will have long term lane closures setup in order to reconstruct the at-grade crossing north of the Arapaho-Quorum intersection. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Addison Circle and Arapaho. The work is expected to continue until late March 2023.
November 28 2022 to the end of January 2023
Beginning Monday, Nov. 28, traffic will be reduced to one lane in both directions at the K Avenue and Municipal Avenue railroad crossings. The crossings between 15th Street and Plano Parkway are being changed for the Silver Line. The freight rail has been rerouted during this time. The closure is expected to last 60 days, weather permitting.
At some point, the roadway will be completely shut down for three consecutive days, likely over a weekend. Watch for the specific dates on digital signage near the crossings.
August 15 - December 30, 2022
On Monday, August 15, construction work for the DART Silver Line began on Hillcrest Road at the intersections of Wester Way and McCallum Blvd. in Dallas. This work includes demolition of sections of the medians and installation of asphalt detours for utility relocation.
One southbound lane and one northbound lane will be in the current southbound traffic lanes. The northbound lanes of Hillcrest Road between McKamy Blvd. and McCallum Blvd. will be closed for utility relocations. Closures and traffic pattern will occur until approximately Friday, December 30, 2022 and is subject to change.
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